Burgess Allison’s Technology Update
Legal Publishers’ List – tracks mergers in the legal publishing field, and periodically posts related news items.
LLRX Newstand Archives
Thomson Selling Its Print Businesses, February 28, 2001. Thomson, owner of West Group, is selling the Bond Buyer and American Banker, as well as other print publications, as it transitions to a solely electronic publisher.
Govt Asks Supreme Court to Reverse COPA’s Death Warrant, February 28, 2001. DOJ is requesting that the Supreme Court overturn an appeals court ruling that the Children’s Online Protection Act was unconstitutional. The Justice Department’s certiorari petition is online at: http://www.usdoj.gov/osg/briefs/2000/2pet/7pet/2000-1293.pet.aa.html
New York Times (reg. req’d)
Now That We’re Still Here, Where Do We Go? 7 Answers, February 28, 2001. This lengthy article presents the differing views of the Web’s future, offered by seven dot-com executives whose sites have weathered the ups and downs of the Internet economy.
New Administration Worries Some E-Rate Proponents, February 28, 2001. The e-rate program, overseen by the FCC, provides federal subsidies for Internet access to schools and libraries. It is a $2.25 billion program that Bush wants to restructure under a block grant program run by the Department of Education.
AltaVista Touts New Enhanced Vertical Search, February 28, 2001. The search portal is promising faster, more comprehensive searches, an enhanced eCommerce space and a new company slogan.
Styron, Vonnegut E-books Spark Random House Suit, February 27, 2001. The battle between huge publisher Random House and small e-book publisher RosettaBooks will certainly increase scrutiny of the digital copyright issue. RosettaBooks is selling electronic versions of eight books by several famous authors without the permission of the Random House, who had its own plans to do the same.
As He Was Saying, February 26, 2001. Seems Judge Jackson was busy behind the scenes of the Microsoft trial talking to a reporters from the New Yorker magazine, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to discuss issues pertaining to the ongoing proceedings. This constitutes a violation of the ethical code by which the judge was bound. The consequences of his actions are being painted in broad and severe brush strokes.
Bizjournals (reg. req’d)
Internet Law Library Sues Old Partners, February 26, 2001. “In a federal lawsuit filed Jan. 26, Internet Law Library accuses ex-investors of a slew of improprieties, alleging stock manipulation, securities and exchange violations and fraud. Internet Law Library filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Houston against Southridge Capital Management LLC and its executives Steve Hicks, Dan Pickett and Christy Constabile. Also named are Canadian company Thomson Kernaghan & Co. and investor Cootes Drive LLC.”
Once More Before the Bench, February 25, 2001. Oral arguments in the Microsoft case begin February 26, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. The seven judges will hear the case en banc, with two days of arguments scheduled. This article provides background on the judges, the arguments, and the unprecedented live video audio feed of the proceedings.
Going Napster One Better, February 25, 2001. Similar to Napster, a new application called Aimster allows users to access music files on the computers of fellow users, and copy songs without a fee. But expanding on Napster’s focus on mus, Aimster also allows users to swap other digital files, including photos, video and text.
Palm vs. Pocket PC, February 23, 2001. Check-out this article prior to purchasing your new PDA. A comparison chart includes cost, size, operating system, screen resolution, size and type, weight, features and more. Best buys are identified, as well as sync packages, money managers, and mail applications.
New York Times (reg. req’d)
For Last Paycheck, More Workers Cede Their Right to Sue, February 24, 2001. Dot-com and brick and mortar employees are increasingly persuaded to sign agreements not to sue their former employers when they are laid off. The reason is so they collect much needed severance packages.
Dot-Com, Esquire: Legal Guidance, Lawyer Optional, February 22, 2001. Consumers and businesses are turning to the lower cost services offered by sites such as MyLawyer.com and LawVantage.com to help defray the often prohibitively high hourly rates charged by law firms.
New York Times Unveils Plans for Digital Edition, February 22, 2001. Unlike what is currently available free on their web site nytimes.com, the new digital edition, due out his fall, will replicate the look and feel of the hard copy version in terms of page layout and even the inclusion of ads. It will provide hyperlinks and keyword searching features in addition to a fee for single issues and subscriptions. Back to the future!
Michigan Considers a Cybercourt, February 22, 2001. To lure technology companies to Michigan, Gov. John Engler wants to establish a separate “cybercourt” for cases involving technology and high-tech businesses, where virtually everything would be done via computer rather than in a courtroom.
Advocates Take Both Sides Of Net Filtering Law, February 22, 2001. Conservative groups and librarians continue to hold forth opposing positions concerning the mandatory implementation of filtering software for institutions receiving federal funds. In a related article, see Which Internet Filters Protect the Best? Which Get in the Way? February 15, 2001.
Pretty Good Privacy Creator Resigns from Network Associates, February 21, 2001. The inventor of the well known Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption protocol, Philip Zimmermann, announced his departure from Network Associates Inc. due disagreements concerning the future of PGP.
Akamai, Digital Island Squabble Resolution Delayed Until Fall, February 21, 2001. “Akamai Technologies Inc. failed in its bid Wednesday to have rival content delivery provider Digital Island’s Footprint content delivery service enjoined. Digital Island will retain the right to use its entire flagship Footprint service, based on a decision filed last week in the United States District Court in Boston. Akamai, who like its competitor has received patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, had accused its rival of skimming off of certain aspects of its technology.”
Old Media: Old News? Web Sites Struggle Financially Despite Millions of Readers, February 21, 2001. High profile sites with lots of backing and high traffic, including CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Salon.com, and yes, WashingtonPost.com, are all losing millions of dollars. Is the end in sight for all these free content sites if they don’t start to generate real revenue?
KeySearch to Launch February 22, 2001. KeySearch is a research tool designed to help users locate cases and secondary sources within specific areas of law. Users may designate issues of interest from an organized hierarchy based on the West Key Number System. KeySearch will then create a search using the relevant key numbers and associated concepts.
A Pageless Way to Find Content, February 20, 2001. R esearchers at the University of West Florida’s Institute for Human and Machine Cognition have taken a learning tool called concept mapping and turned it into a pageless method of browsing Web sites.
Google Extends Search Engine’s Reach to Popular File Format, February 22, 2001. Google has already added 13 million documents in PDF to its index. PDF documents are routinely much longer than HTML documents, and Google can also display the text version of these documents.
Justices Look at Heat Seekers Ability to Pierce the Home, February 21, 2001. The Supreme Court heard arguments in an unusual privacy case, Kyllo v. U.S. The case concerns police use of a thermal imager device that can detect, for example, that marijuana plants are being grown indoors. Does the use of the imager constitute a search without a warrant, and what are the home owners reasonable expectations of privacy?
Additional sources on this issue: http://news.findlaw.com/ap/a/w/1154/2-20-2001/20010220104811900.html
The 9th Circuit decision being appealed (Kyllo v. U.S.)
Briefs filed in the case:
A Portal in Every Pot, February 20, 2001. “The age of the “corportal” is upon us. At the end of 1999, 18% of companies told IDC that they already have a corporate portal, and 32% planned to complete one by the end of 2001. If these plans materialize, then half of U.S. companies will operate portals by the end of this year.”
Napster Case Reveals the Flaws in Copyright Law, February 20, 2001. This article provides some perspective on how existing copyright laws are woefully inadequate in the face of the tremendous surge in the digital use of materials.
Reed Elsevier to Sell Bowker, February 17, 2001. Reed Elsevier will sell Bowker, Bowker U.K., D.W. Thorpe, Marquis Who’s Who and several National Register Publishing Directories to focus on the legal, business, science, and education markets.
Which Internet Filters Protect the Best? Which Get in the Way? February 15, 2001. This well documented article reviews: the basics of filtering; how well do filters block bad stuff; do filters block good stuff; and recommendations on which filters to choose.
McCain Pushes to Put CRS Online, February 15, 2001. At an estimated cost of $73 million, American taxpayers foot the bill for reports by the Congressional think tank on a wide range of policy issues. The reports are available for a fee, or in paper copy by request to your Senator’s office. Previous efforts to make them available online have failed.
Think the Web is Huge Now? It Might Get Bigger, February 14, 2001. “A complicated mix of networking and peer-to-peer technologies, XDegrees’ technology aims in part to open a whole new universe of computers, files, applications and devices directly to the Web.”
Free Antivirus Software for Wireless Devices Released, February 14, 2001. PC-cillin for Wireless provides portable, easy-to-use antivirus security for wireless devices to defend against potential threats. Malicious code and other unique threats hidden inside files, email, or on the Web can enter your Palm, Pocket PC, or EPOC device during beaming, synchronization, or Internet access.
FreeEdgar’s E-Mail Alerts Now Include a Cost, February 12, 2001. Effective February 12, users who track SEC filings on Free Edgar, via email alerts, will have to pay a monthly fee of $9.95 for alerts on more than 10 companies.
Business.com Adds International and Private Company Profiles, February 12, 2001. “ Business.com has announced the addition of free profiles of private and international companies to its business information site. The detailed descriptions of 40,000 private and 14,000 international companies join the site’s profiles of 10,000 U.S. public companies that were added in June 2000.”
Google Acquires Usenet Discussion Service and Significant Assets from Deja.com, February 12, 2001. This acquisition provides Google with Deja’s entire Usenet archive (dating back to 1995), software, domain names including deja.com and dejanews.com, company trademarks, and other intellectual property. Available now at http://groups.google.com, this powerful new Usenet search feature enables Google users to access the wealth of information contained in more than six months of Usenet newsgroup postings and message threads. Once the full Deja Usenet archive is added, users will be able to search and browse more than 500 million archived messages with the speed and efficiency of a Google search. In addition to expanding the amount of searchable data, Google will soon provide improved browsing capabilities and newsgroup posting.
New York Times (registration req’d)
How Long is the Reach of Your Former Employer, February 11, 2001. High tech employees in the dot-com arena often have to sign confidentiality and/or non-compete clauses, which can cause considerable problems as such employees change jobs frequently.
Fans Rush to Napster Ahead of Court Ruling, February 9, 2001. In anticipation of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, fans of free music are rushing to download all the tunes they can. Napster claims it has 51 million user names, and this database of personal data will certainly pose problems down the line.
See also a related story about Napster’s database of personal data: http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,22092,00.html
Search Engine Hunts for Gold Beneath the Surface of the Web, February 8, 2001. Intelliseek launched a new search engine, ProFusion (www.beta.profusion.com), that lets users search over 1,000 sources, including sites that constitute the ‘invisible Web.’
Looking at RefDesk.com, February 8, 2001. Refdesk (www.refdesk.com), has links to more than 20,000 dictionaries, newspapers, government sites and other sources. It was created in 1995 by Bob Drudge, father of Matt Drudge.
State of Wisconsin Launches State Info Portal, February 9, 2001. The site, located at www.wisconsin.gov, promises 24/7 access to all areas of Wisconsin government, and sports a straight-forward, user friendly interface.
For a review of this site, see LLRXBuzz at http://www.llrx.com/buzz/buzz44.htm#wisconsinrelaunches
A Minor Leap for the Internet, February 9, 2001. Brandeis University will stake its claim as the first American college to offer a degree in Internet Studies.
Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder is Battling for America’s Publishers, February 7, 2001. Schroeder, President of the Association of American Publishers, has taken up the cause of fair use for authors and publishers in the digital environment. She has framed this issue as a battle between America’s libraries, who seek to provide free information access to the public, and publishers, who want to make lots of money!
New Lexis-Nexis LEXLink Tool Finds Legal Citations, Creates Direct Hyperlinks to Documents, February 7, 2001. The Lexis-Nexis Group has released Lexis-Nexis® Citation Tools 2001, a software application featuring the new LEXLink tool, which identifies legal citations from within word processing and HTML documents and automatically creates Web hyperlinks to the cited document on the Web-based lexis.com research system.
In Defense of Copyleft, February 7, 2001. At a legal seminar in Dublin, “Free Software Foundation founder and principle GNU developer Richard Stallman argued that the concept of copyright is inappropriate to the digital age and restricts freedom and innovation.”
Web Publishers Don’t Give it Away, February 5, 2001. Web publishers are attempting to enforce copyright on their content with mixed success. This article focuses on ZDNet’s use of iCopyright.com to review all online reprint requests and grant permissions on their behalf.
Counting Web Traffic, February 3, 2001. This interesting article highlights the challenges inherent in attempting to accurately measure traffic to web sites, as illustrated by the discrepancies that result when the three leading Internet rating firms rank popular sites.
New York Times (registration req’d)
Kafkaesque? Big Brother? Finding the Right Literary Metaphor for Net Privacy, February 2, 2001. “Daniel J. Solove, an assistant professor at Seton Hall Law School in New Jersey who teaches a course in privacy, claims Big Brother is an apt metaphor to describe the effects of surveillance and the invasion of a person’s secret or private world. But that doesn’t get at the heart of the computer database threat.”
European Firms Go Bargain Hunting for U.S. Internet Deals, February 2, 2001. Amsterdam-based information services company Wolters Kluwer is buying legal information firm Loislaw.com for $95 million in cash. Spain’s Terra Networks acquired of Massachusetts-based Lycos to create Terra Lycos.
Best Free* Stuff Online (*Get ‘Em While You Can), February 2, 2001. Links for free stuff for work, play, privacy, downloads, reference sites, organizers and more.
Privacy Caucus to Examine Web Bugs, E-Mail Wiretapping, February 28, 2001. The bipartisan caucus will consider applications designed to thwart Net privacy, such as Web bugs that are used by companies to track an users movements among various sites and the activities they conduct, such as e-commerce, when there. The Privacy Foundation is supporting a new technology to thwart this monitoring activity.
RIAA Taps Racicot To Lobby Congress In Anti-Napster Fight, February 27, 2001. Former Montana Governor Mark Racicot, who spoke frequently on behalf of George W. Bush during the Presidential campaign, will work in an anti-Napster effort, in support of “private property rights.” This issues is considered to be a political minefield, as there are 55 million Napster users, many of whom, no doubt, will vote in the upcoming elections.
Study Highlights Local E-Gov Efforts, February 27, 2001. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) just issued a survey, Electronic Government Survey 2000 (PDF), that reviews the ways in which local governments use the Internet to deliver interactive services and information to citizens, including online payment of tickets, fines, and taxes; voter registration; and fulfillment of requests for local government records.
Congressional Privacy Debate Kicks Off, February 25, 2001. On February 26, the House Commerce Committee’s Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold the first of what is expected to be numerous hearings on privacy this year. This hearing, “Privacy in the Consumer World will lay the groundwork for what promises to be one of the most hard-fought battles on Capitol Hill this year.”
Spam Oozes Past Border Patrol, February 23, 2001. Efforts to combat spam via legislation have been completely ineffective. This article indicates that in large measure this is due to the fact that of the “100 most prolific Usenet spam hosts, …52 of them are now offshore.”
Scrambling for Privacy, February 23, 2001. Congress is treading a fine line between trying to protect Web site users’ personal data while at the same time promoting the future of e-commerce, which relies heavily on such information for marketing and traffic. Interesting article.
ITAA Says Maryland Privacy Bill Opts for Confusion, February 23, 2001. Mark Uncapher, VP and counsel of the Information Technology Association of America told a Maryland House of Delegates Committee that pending state privacy legislation would “unleash a torrent of costly, confusing and counterproductive consumer consent requests while doing little to improve the true state of online privacy.”
Cybersquatters Were Given a Pass by the Dept. of Commerce, February 23, 2001. Last month the Department of Commerce issued its “Report to Congress” concluding that no new federal legislation was needed to protect consumers from personal name Cybersquatting.
Lawmaker Warns of Ongoing ‘Digital Divide’, February 22, 2001. Sen. Markey (MA) is concerned about the conclusions of a new GAO report that only 12% of current Internet users make use of fast broadband connections. The report, titled Telecommunications: Characteristics and Choices of Internet Users, is a slow download PDF for those using a modem connection – http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01345.pdf .
Sen. Brownback Plans New Broadband Bill, February 21, 2001. The Senator from Kansas said he would reintroduce legislation designed to make telecom providers deploy high-speed Internet access and data service to rural areas.
Clinton Pushes for Sensible Tax Cuts, End to the Digital Divide, February 19, 2001. Former President Clinton gave a speech on Monday at OracleAppsWorld in which he was optimistic about the economy, but cautioned that tax cuts could exacerbate the existing digital divide.
Hill Takes Notice of Napster Legal Fray, February 16, 2001. Some key members of Congress are saying it is time for the major record labels to make it easier for people to download songs over the Internet.
Congress Mounts Attack on Spam, February 15, 2001. Representatives Wilson (R-New Mexico) and Green (D-Texas) resubmitted the Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail Act. The bill is identical to the bill that passed the House in the last Congress by a vote of 427 to 1.
Senator Hatch Troubled By Napster Court Decision, February 14, 2001. “I guess my feeling about this Ninth Circuit decision is a gnawing concern that this legal victory for the record labels may prove pyretic and short-sighted from a policy perspective,” Hatch said in a speech on the Senate floor.
House Lawmakers Offer New Anti-Spam Legislation, February 14, 2001. “Reps. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., and Gene Green, D-Texas, introduced the “Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail Act of 2001,” a bill that gives Web users the ability to block unwanted e-mail. The legislation also would give Internet service providers (ISPs) a legal right of action to block access to those who perpetuate spam on their networks.”
Senate Bill Bans Banks from Selling Social Security Numbers, February 14, 2001. “Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., reintroduced legislation today to ban the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers by financial institutions.”
Lawmaker Introduces High-Tech Training Initiative, February 12, 2001. Sponsored by Reps. Jerry Weller, R-Ill., and Jim Moran, D-Va., the Technology Education & Training Act (TETA) “will help workers and their employers recover the cost of training and help thousands of workers obtain higher paying new economy jobs.”
Stearns Tackling Privacy, Cyberspace & Int’l E-commerce, February 9, 2001. The chair of the House subcommittee on commerce trade and consumer protection indicated his tech agenda for the 107th Congress will focus on Internet privacy and security as well as eliminating obstacles to international e-commerce.
Senate Learns of Snail Mail, February 12, 2001. The Senate’s email system is so antiquated that reports of up to a five-day delay in receiving outside e-mails is common. A new system is promised by year’s end.
E-Commerce Enhancement Bill Introduced, February 9, 2001. Proposed by Rep. James Barcia, D-Mich., and co-sponsored by a handful of other lawmakers, the Electronic Commerce Enhancement Act would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to launch a pilot e- commerce program.
Proposed Michigan Law Would Erase Free Web Users’ Anonymity, February 8, 2001. State Rep. Bob Brown, D-Dearborn Heights, is proposing legislation to mandate that free services operating in Michigan collect more reliable and identifiable user data as a means of thwarting the use of the Web by child pornographers.
Proposed Bill Aims to Protect Student Privacy, February 8, 2001. Senators Dodd and Shelby’s bill proposes that schools must obtain parental consent before they collect personal data on students that would be used for commercial purposes.
Getting to Domain Argument, February 8, 2001. Today “a House committee will give critics a chance to complain about the process the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers used when approving or rejecting the additions.”
ICANN Chairman Responds to House Charges, February 8, 2001. “Vint Cerf, chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, fielded questions from a skeptical House Subcommittee on Telecommunications Thursday. Cerf and his organization have come under fire for the selection process used to determine last November’s seven new global Top Level Domains (TLD).”
New Internet Tax Moratorium Proposed, February 8, 2001. Senators Wyden and Cox are the co-sponsors of Cox-Wyden IV, legislation that proposes to extend the moratorium on Internet taxes for an additional five year period.
Lawmakers Get Head Start on Net Tax Issues February 7, 2001. “Key backers of the 1998 moratorium are pushing for a 5-year extension and outlining criteria for states to collect sales tax on Net transactions.”
Senator Pushes ‘Tech 7’ Legislative Priorities List, February 7, 2001. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Senate Submte. Chair, will press for issues including online and wireless privacy protections, a bill to eliminate spam, and measures that support the availability of high-speed Internet access. His press release is at http://burns.senate.gov/p010207a.htm.
Senators Want Congress Documents Online, February 7, 2001. Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., “said they would introduce a resolution calling for open Internet access to “important” congressional documents such as lobbyist reports and gift disclosure forms.”
Bennett Bringing Bill to Require Internet Features, February 5, 2001. “Leahy said his staff is working on a bill that would give consumers a private right of action to sue third-party companies that misuse or sell patient information.”
Leahy Promises To Fill In Gaps’ in Health Care Privacy Rules, February 5, 2001. “Leahy said his staff is working on a bill that would give consumers a private right of action to sue third-party companies that misuse or sell patient information.”
Privacy Bill Would Require Opt-In for Third Party Cookies, February 2, 2001. “Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, has introduced legislation that would force Web sites to obtain consumer consent before tracking visitors as they surf the Net. The legislation also would require Web sites to state their privacy policies in plain, non-legalese English.”